FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 5, 2021
NEW POLL: Majority of Minnesotans back clean energy
Democrats, Independents, and Republicans all express support for cleaner energy and view transition as good for Minnesota’s economy
St. Paul, MN — MN350 today released a new poll showing Minnesotans’ strong support for 100% clean energy. The poll, conducted by Climate Nexus, shows support across the political spectrum for Minnesota transitioning to energy sources like wind and solar.
The poll of 573 registered voters found roughly two-thirds (66%) of Minnesotans think the No. 1 goal of Minnesota’s energy policy should be transitioning 100% of the state’s energy to clean, renewable sources. Solar energy was particularly popular, with 68% of all respondents and 54% of Republicans saying the state should produce more. About 67% of respondents also said they’re very worried or somewhat worried about water pollution.
More than six in 10 (61%) Minnesotans believe the transition to clean energy will benefit Minnesota’s economy, and 68%, including 51% of Republicans, believe it will have a positive impact on Minnesota’s environment.
“Our poll clearly shows Minnesotans, regardless of where they live or who they might vote for, believe we have a responsibility to protect the lakes and waterways that we love for future generations,” said Sam Grant, Executive Director of MN350. “There’s a growing realization, too, that the transition that’s underway will boost Minnesota’s economy and make it work better for everyone.”
About two-thirds (66%) of Minnesotans also support legislation to achieve a 100% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. That includes 86% of Democratic voters, 66% of Independents and 46% of Republicans. Support was similarly strong geographically, with 68% of voters outside the seven-county metro area supporting elimination of greenhouse gas emissions, compared with 66% within the metro.
“Minnesotans overwhelmingly agree that unchecked climate change threatens our future, and we must act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050,” said Rep. Patty Acomb, chair of the House Climate Action Caucus and the author of the Next Generation Climate Act. “Passing the Next Generation Climate Act will strengthen our reduction targets, base our actions on the most current science, and ensure we achieve our goals.”
Minnesota for years has been on the cusp of policy change that would align with residents’ desire for clean energy and return the state to a position of national leadership in protecting our climate. This year as in previous years, the state Senate has failed to take meaningful action on the necessary changes supported by a strong majority of Minnesotans.
Chris Conry, Campaign Director for the 100% Campaign, said poll results “confirm what we’ve experienced as a campaign for the last two years. Minnesotans prefer 100% clean energy by a 3 to 1 margin — 66% of Minnesotans support it, while just 22% oppose it. Clean energy is popular and doable. We can create a 100% equitable and clean energy future. But to get there, we need the Minnesota State Senate to stop picking polluters over people.”
“Minnesotans are clear: Our future should be clean energy,” said Rep. Jamie Long, chair of the House Climate and Energy Committee. “Two-thirds want us to move to 100% clean energy and know that it will be good for jobs, our health, and our environment. It’s time for the Legislature to heed their call and pass our 100% clean energy bill.”
MN350 is a statewide group with 20,000 supporters working to make Minnesota a national leader in a just transition to a clean energy economy. MN350 Action is its political and advocacy arm.
Climate Nexus, in partnership with the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, conducts polling on climate change, public policy and the energy transition.